First Impressions – Sakamoto desu ga?

Sakamote desu ga - 01 -7 Sakamote desu ga - 01 -21 Sakamote desu ga - 01 -32

Sakamote desu ga - 01 -1The parade of Spring adaptations for manga I know well continues with Sakamoto desu ga?, Sano Nami’s massively popular and recently ended seinen series.  You got a pretty good read on this series from the first episode, I think.  It’s a gag manga and director Takamatsu Shinji very much treats it as one.  It’s no exaggeration to say Takamatsu-sensei was literally the only director I even considered when I heard the inevitable anime announcement – no one else does high-school comedy about guys being goofballs like he does.

Sakamote desu ga - 01 -2I think it’s fair to say Sakamoto desu ga? is not going for photorealism or complex character drama.  It’s just trying to be hilarious, and it accomplishes it much of the time.  Sakamoto-kun (Midorikawa Hikaru – not who I pictured, but a good choice) is basically infallible – what you see is what you get with him, and the joke is really in the way everybody else plays off him.  Sakamoto’s preposterous stunts are great but he’s basically the straight man here, as I think you can see in the premiere.  He’s surrounded by a crew of screaming girls and oddball guys voiced by famous seiyuu, all of whom are sooner or later won over by Sakamoto’s glittering awesomeness.  Kakui!

Sakamote desu ga - 01 -3I would expect the series to follow the basic formula of one chapter before the break and one after, as I don’t recall too many extended stories in the manga.  I have especially fond memories of the bee sketch, which was really the one that sold me on the series.  And having seen the truly terrifying Osuzumebachi (it kills more people than any animal in Japan) up close, I can tell you I would have been ripping my uniform off and hiding under a desk too.  Sakamoto’s swordfight with “Mr. Bee” is a highlight, but my favorite part of this sketch is the girls fleeing the room and leaving the boys to die.

Sakamote desu ga - 01 -4While it’s probably fair to say the content here was pretty typical of Sakamoto desu ga?, I’d recommend giving the series a bit of time even if the humor didn’t immediately click for you. This is one of those comedies that’s kind of a slow build – the more you’re exposed to it, the more you find yourself getting drawn into the absurdity of the world it creates.  And the staff and cast Deen put together for it should be able to do justice to the manga.

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7 comments

  1. D

    I was cracking up all the way through. Anime comedies rarely get more than a chuckle out of me, but I was dying at the scene with the fire dance. Hilarious show. It’s shaping up to be one hell of a season!

  2. T

    I’ve only read a couple of chapters of the manga and I think I’ll leave it that way so I won’t anticipate punchlines. Sakamoto-kun was so fabulous max, I just couldn’t! The OP and the ED were such a pleasure to watch too.

  3. h

    Novu was cool 😀

  4. For me (as with the manga) the humor is sorta hit and miss instead of consistently funny, so it’s likely I may enjoy the series as it airs but not archive it.

    So Enzo, when you gonna write that essay on humor and why it does and does not work for some people as opposed to others? XD

  5. C

    This is what Karamatsu would be if he was actually cool and not a NEET loser.

  6. G

    What really got me was the gangster looking at the ikemen picture of Sakamoto and contemplating on making it his wallpaper. Totally my reaction. I wasn’t expecting the show to go to the exaggerated route for comedy but then again, if they don’t, the ideas may run dry. It’s pretty fun so I’m sticking around.

  7. I might be most impressed by that soundtrack, I like how its making the show breezier than most comedies.

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